Journey for Identity (JFI)
for Teens from Rochester, NY and Modi'in, Israel

Want to learn about the Holocaust, meet a local survivor, travel to Poland, see the sun rise above the Dead Sea? Hike through 2,000 year-old water aqueducts in the north? Pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem? Explore Tel Aviv’s trendy shops and outdoor markets? Make friends that will last a lifetime?


Travel from Rochester to Poland and Israel with Jewish teens from Rochester and Modi’in. Experience "home hospitality" in each other's communities.


JFI is a hallmark program of "Partnership2Gether," the Rochester Jewish community's vibrant connection with the people of Modi'in, Israel. Learn more-->



The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester has been sponsoring outstanding teen travel programs in the United States and Israel for many years. We provide the highest standard of health, safety and security in all our youth travel programs.

The staff of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is available by telephone 24 hours a day during the program to respond to the needs of our participants and concerns of parents. Our offices at 441 East Avenue are open 8 hours a day.  For more detailed information, please refer to our Safety and Security protocol.

Participants and their parents sign the JFI Code of Conduct expressing clear expectations for appropriate behavior. The Jewish Federation prides itself on the sensitive and professional handling of medical, emotional or behavioral challenges. The staff of the Jewish Federation are in close contact with participants’ parents if need be.

The Jewish Federation uses trained educators from the Israeli Ministry of Education for Poland and Israel - every group, in addition to its full complement of group leaders and counselors, has a trained tour educator in Poland and in Israel. This tour educator knows how to bring alive the history of the Jewish people and how to effectively communicate with Rochester teens.



  • JFI 2017 & 2019

    Journey for Identity experiences take place every other summer. If you or your teen will be in 10th-12th grades during the 2018-2019 school year (current 8th-10th graders/classes of 2019-2021), and would like to be notified when applications become available for the 2019 trip, please contact Rachel Kest, Director of Jewish Education & Engagement, (585) 461-0490 x8647.

Program costs:


The total cost of the Journey for Identity covers all expenses associated with the program including travel expenses, hotel accommodations, food, and any other associated costs of the program except for luggage charges for overweight bags. Contact Rachel Kest for more information.


Scholarship information


JFI participants are eligible to receive scholarships from various organizations throughout the Rochester community.  All scholarships are need-based.  The Jewish Education and Engagement Department of the Jewish Federation has partnered with the Farash Foundation and most Rochester-area synagogues to create a communal, shared financial aid application process.  To apply, please click here.  You may contact Sharon Gray with any questions about the application process.


Please note that while the application is hosted on the Farash Foundation website, JFI participants are not eligible to receive needs-based funding from the Farash Foundation.  This application will still be used for the Jewish Federation and local synagogue needs-based funding.


Gift of Israel Certificates – Rochester-area teens (beginning in 2017) will have received Gift of Israel Certificates upon reaching the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  This certificate guarantees some non-needs-based funding for Israel travel, and can be used towards JFI.  You do not need to save the original certificate – just contact Amy Libenson to notify her that you would like to use your Gift of Israel funds towards your JFI experience.  The Jewish Federation keeps a record of all certificates granted and their use, and will apply the funds to your JFI account.